Video Blog + First Reaction: J.J. Abrams' Spectacular Sci-Fi 'Super 8'

June 6, 2011

Super 8 Movie

It's hard to sit and chat about J.J. Abrams' Super 8 now because, well, you've gotta see it first! There's so much to talk about — but only once you know what the "secret" is. I was lucky enough to be shown Super 8, and Paramount has finally allowed us to talk about our reactions to the movie, so let's get into it. Upon seeing it my first time, I recorded a video blog with Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm and you can watch that below. I would honestly say that Super 8 lived up to all of my very high expectations. It's a true Amblin film and was not only entertaining, but genuinely thrilling and exhilarating to watch. Suffice it to say, I loved it.

Below is the video blog Peter and I recorded a few weeks back. It's spoiler free in regards to our thoughts on Super 8. I've had the chance to see the movie again a second time to hone my thoughts on it, as it's one of those movies that needs two viewings. The second time around, I don't have any expectations anymore and can sit back and watch it for the movie it actually is. More of my thoughts on Super 8 after the video, but check this out, as this shows my true instant reaction within hours of stepping out of my first screening of it.

It's tough to get into a more formal review when everyone else has yet to see it, but I really did love Super 8. The problem going into a movie like this is expectations, as everyone has insanely high expectations which are hard for any film to ever reach. That was definitely the case with Super 8, as I expected it to pretty much perform miracles. For me, it met most of those high expectations in a very satisfying way, mostly because I had seen quite a bit before and had an idea of where it might be going. Like Cloverfield, it doesn't branch out into a bigger story, but doesn't need to, this isn't a huge action movie. It's still about a father and his son and it's still a story about the characters in this town. However, the adventure we go on certainly is a thrill.

As I say in the video, Super 8 really felt like a classic Amblin movie that we don't see anymore. And this time I can say that having seen it, multiple times. Yes, it's inspired by the Steven Spielberg classics of the 70's and 80's, and yes it's an homage to a few films, but it still seemed original and exciting. It's truly an experience in the sense that everyone must go see this in theaters, with a group of friends who are excited for it, but have no clue what's coming, you'll have a blast. It's that kind of viewing experience that makes it a classic beyond just being a great movie. However, for me, it was the emotional moments (near the end) that really made me love it, as I connected with them the most and they're beautifully crafted around the story.

As much as I did enjoy Super 8, I didn't walk out feeling blown away in the "instant classic" sense that I was ultimately hoping for, but I knew that was going to be unlikely. When I watched it a second time, I was still entertained by the story as it unfolded, including all the character moments as well as all the action, which proved that it holds up and I wasn't just caught up in the hype the first time. I can't say enough good things about Super 8, from the score to the performances, to the action and story, it's unquestionably worth seeing on the big screen. I'm also looking forward to getting into more discussions once it hits theaters on Friday.

Find more posts: Opinions, To Watch, Video Blog



Amblin? That bad? ouch.

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


What are you talking about? Amblin Entertainment movies are classics, like E.T., Gremlins, The Goonies, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Innerspace, Empire of the Sun, Arachnophobia. Mentioning Amblin is definitely not a bad thing, it's a VERY good thing!

Alex Billington on Jun 7, 2011


... Amblin? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amblin' I was thinking of the above ^^^ I love the movies you mentioned, my bad.

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


Ohhh right. That film inspired Spielberg to name his company Amblin, but nah, I'm referring to those "Amblin movies" in a sense that this film feels like it would fit right in with those that I named. 🙂

Alex Billington on Jun 7, 2011


damn, now i have to go see it

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


6 minute footage of the train wreck scene. I figured you would like it even though you've seen it. http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-gb&from=sp&fg=shareEmbed&vid=18bdf2e3-7898-4cfd-96d1-edce12ba8328&src=FLCP:sharebar:permalink:null 

Gavin Paxton on Jun 7, 2011


Could you elaborate on the score? I'm a big Giacchino fan and wondered whether he eluded to a John Williams score or did his own thing. I asked Germain & he said it was suitable but not terribly exciting.

Apocalypse Now & Later on Jun 7, 2011


Well, I wish I could find the pieces of the score I'm talking about, but it basically sounds like he uses similar theme elements from other scores, then goes off on his own. It's a little mix of both, original and inspiration, it's pretty good. Can't wait to listen to an album on its own. There definitely sounded like some E.T. and Indiana Jones-like John Williams.

Alex Billington on Jun 7, 2011


Hate to be that guy, but wearing a Super 8 sweater while reviewing the film? Really?

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


I just had it on at the time we recorded. It's a nice, warm sweatshirt, I like wearing it!

Alex Billington on Jun 7, 2011


Having said that, great review guys. Love the video reactions.

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


And this is an add on question to the comment above, wondering was the score in a lot of the movie or used sparingly? Thanks and good review.

Apocalypse Now & Later on Jun 7, 2011


Alex, when you say that you didn't walk out blown away in an instant classic sense, was it because you saw some parts of it before you saw the whole movie? Would you have possibly felt that way if you didn't see any parts of it, only the complete viewing??

Big R on Jun 7, 2011


Off topic, but damn! That room you guys filmed in is like an ultimate nerd/geek den! The gun from District 9, an AT-AT, a Bad Robot figurine, a gold skull thing from Raiders of the Lost Arc, a T-800 exo skull, and a shitload of books!!! But one question, where was the light saber?

DAVIDPD on Jun 7, 2011


Its my living room. Thanks. A lightsaber was on the other wall. You were only seeing one wall 🙂

Peter Sciretta on Jun 7, 2011


the greatest room of all time..

rocKKicker on Jun 7, 2011


Thats no lie, very cool memorabilia.  Movies like this just don't get made anymore. I couldn't be more thrilled to see a premiere director of that era (Spielberg), working with a brilliant mind like Abrams, to tag-team a throwback like this. Fantastic. Solid (non-spoiler) review. Only building up my anticipation all the more.

Quazzimotto on Jun 7, 2011


Can't Wait to see Super 8!!! Kinda reminds me of the goonies meets ET... check out this behind the scenes vid http://bit.ly/jrxMkG

Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011


I only listened to the audio of this, but I have one thing to say: The fat guy needs to shut up and let the other guy finish a sentence.

Llavudwehttam on Jun 10, 2011

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